A broken neck couldn't keep a good man down
DESPITE breaking his neck in a rodeo fall that almost cost him his life, Peel Tribe dusted off his jeans and headed back to work just four days later.
Mr Tribe said he tried to get off the bronco, Moves Like Jagger, after the whistle on the Sunday afternoon of the 2016 Warwick Rodeo but couldn't make it to the pick-up horses.
"Unfortunately he threw me on my head and broke my neck," he said.
A halo brace kept Mr Tribe's neck still for 13 weeks after the near-fatal injury, which broke the second vertebra in his neck.
The Condamine Steel and Rural owner said his biggest fear was not being able to live life normally, but while in the frame he kept doing the activities he could including welding, fencing and lending a hand in the workshop.
"I did everything I could do to keep myself sane," he said.
"It was a very frustrating time for me being a very active sort of fellow."
Mr Tribe said he'd get some funny looks when out and about, but it didn't stop him going to events and taking his four-year-old daughter Halle-Belle to school.
"I'd take her to school with it on and all the kids there would be asking me questions," he said.
"It was a bit funny."
There were also restrictions, as he was unable to drive or ride horses whilst wearing the brace.
Roughhousing with 17-year-old son Jackson was also off limits.
Wearing the woollen-lined brace through a hot summer was "like living in an oven", but wife Jody helped complete the tasks that were made more challenging.
"Someone needed to help me get a singlet on and get a shirt on," he said.
"It was a pretty tough gig but we got it sorted."
Doctors at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane couldn't believe Mr Tribe survived the fall, which he said gave him a different perspective on life.
"I probably don't take things for granted as much as I did," he said.
"You can be here today and gone tomorrow just about."
Mr Tribe said rehabilitation wasn't necessary for the injury, as doctors said the weight of his head along would help to build up the strength in his neck.
They estimated it would take two years to fully recover, but he said he had come along in "leaps and bounds."
"I would think that I've got at least 95% of my movement back in my neck now," he said.
Back to riding and breaking in horses, Mr Tribe said he was nearing the end of his career after 20 years of riding broncos.
But as the Warwick Show and Rodeo Society vice-chairman said he would still take a hands-on role in organising the rodeo and may try his hand at some different events.
"I'll still rodeo but I'll probably be limited to team roping.
"That'll probably be next on the list to tick off, make the finals as a team roper.
"I still get to compete and be amongst the people I love to be amongst.
"I love being a cowboy."